In 2016, Howtoons introduced a monthly subscription service. Each Howtoons project kit is centered around a diverse STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, math) subject and encompasses all the necessary tools and materials for constructing the project. Within each kit, you'll also find a pocket-sized book featuring a comic-style narrative linked to the project, step-by-step instructions for completion, and an exploration of associated STEAM concepts—all presented in the distinct Howtoons visual storytelling style. As a special bonus, there's an interview with a professional from the STEAM field, engaging games, and extra DIY projects related to the theme. Our ultimate goal is to ignite children's passion for learning through enjoyable and imaginative experiences.

Ukulele kit: Our most popular kit is a great way to teach kids the science of sound. What initially began as a basic rubber band guitar has evolved into a fully operational cardboard ukulele.

Origami Robot Kit: Made using origami and simple electronics, the Gami-bot kit is a fun way to teach kids about circuits and robotics.

Toolbox Kit:  We wanted to push the boundaries of what was included in our kits, and each Toolbox Kit includes a hammer. This kit focuses on the importance of teaching how to use tools, so they can build their future.

Kalimba Kit

Bat Mobile

Drawing Kit

Hippo Sanctuary

Stomp Rocket


Credits: My role was lead designer and creative director. In addition to project design and magazine layout, I managed and directed an amazing team of engineers, developers, artists, and writers, as well as worked with industry professionals and classrooms to test and refine our projects. Illustrations by Nick Dragotta. Engineering by Phil Hopkins. Writing by Jeff Parker. Copy Editing By Goli Mohammadi. Photography by Joy Coakley.




Howtoons History

In 2004, the inception of Howtoons was spearheaded by Saul Griffith, Joost Bonsen, and the artist Nick Dragotta. Their mission was to revolutionize instructional materials tailored for children. Four years later, I became part of the team, introducing the element of playful toy design to our projects. Our shared objective was to craft compelling content featuring interactive DIY projects, empowering kids to construct and learn.

Throughout the years, Howtoons been published through Harper Collins, Make magazine, Image Comics, and Scholastic Books.

Below are examples of our comics and projects.

Credits: My role was lead product designer and creative director. In addition to project design and book/magazine layout, I built and designed the projects, I built and maintained the website, and created video and marketing assets. Illustrations by Nick Dragotta. Science and engineering by Saul Griffith. 

Little Passports


I am the Design Director at Little Passports, where I have been responsible for shaping the strategy and design direction of our new subscription lines and merchandise offerings for the past five years.

Kitchen Adventures: A global culinary adventure with recipes from America's Test Kitchen Kids and activities from Little Passports. More info can be found here.

Credits: I was the team lead and co-director with Jacque Lamkin. I collaborated on projects with Prapti Verma and Lieyah Dagan. Content Art Direction by Jacque Lamkin. Illustrations and Graphic Design by Eura Bang, Boya Sun, Rafa Ribs. Editing and content creation by Kaleena Newman, and Michi Fujimoto.

Animals Wild: A six month subscription line that featured fun and exciting animals from around the world. Contents included a pop-up playset with lift-the-flaps surprises, facts, and games. Pop-out play figures, and a hands-on activity. More information can be found here.

Credits: I was the team lead and director. I collaborated on projects with Lieyah Dagan. Content Art Direction by Alice Sieler. Illustrations by Tilia Rand-Bell, Angel Chang, Audrey Isaacson, and Riza Cruz. Editing and content creation by Wendy Hari.

Space Quest: is six month subscription line for ages 6-8. Each month’s kit includes a hands-on project inspired by real space exploration, along with a unique poster. More info on the line can be found here.

Credits: I was the team lead and director. I collaborated on projects with Lieyah Dagan. Content Art Direction by Audrey Isaacson. Illustrations by Abbie Geovia, Boya Sun, Drew Shields, and Rafa Ribs. Editing and content creation by Gabe Thibodeau.

Science Junior: Science projects from around the world. Contents include a magazine with activities, infographs, puzzles, and stories. 1-2 hands-on activities. Projects were also turned into retail items distributed on site, Target, and Amazon. 24 month subscription line.

Credits: I was the team lead, project designer, comic content director. Comic illustrations by Comic Up. Comic writing by Jeff Parker. Project illustrations for (Amazon marble maze, 3d puzzle globe, foam planes, and Macaw mobile) by Abbie Goveia. Content by Gabe Thibodeau.

Shop items and retail:  activities and projects for all ages sold online, Target, and Amazon. 

Credits: I was the team lead and directed the concept and direction for the project. Illustrations by Abbie Goveia, Erikas Chesonis, and Kristin Stock. Photography by Joy Coakley. Packaging by Alice Seiler and Jill Guberman.


2003-2006 Kids Team Designer

At New Balance, I enjoyed the design challenge of the quarterly demands. A shoe is a shoe, so I delved into how I could reinvent it and make it interesting. What I discovered along the way is that I wasn’t just good at designing playful and fun shoes, but I had become skilled at initiating new project ideas and directions that went beyond just the shoe.

Below are a number of shoe projects I worked on.

Life style 480: I worked with a comic book artist to add a graphic art element to the Lifestyle limited edition 480 series.

In the gym collection: Recognizing that kids’ cross-training needs differ from adults, I initiated a research project where I interviewed parents, kids, and physical fitness educators. This informed the design challenge to meet the needs of children K–8 for gym class while adopting the new PE philosophy of fun and fitness for life.

New Balance KX626: These shoes were designed for K–2nd grade, where PE classes concentrate on teaching fundamental skills like running, kicking, and side-to-side movements. Design features incorporated everything from a kickball oversized toe wrap to a 360-degree fit system that helped keep the shoe on, while kids still learned how to tie their shoes.

New Balance KX727: Designed for 3rd–8th graders, where PE classes focus on physical activity through team sports, I wanted these shoes to have the cushioning of a running sneaker, the traction and upper height protection of a basketball shoe, combined with the mobility of a soccer shoe. Because PE activities last two weeks, I designed a shoe that would work for multiple sports.


Alternative Closures:
In the realm of non-lace shoes, I became mildly obsessed with utilizing the N-logo as an alternative closure.

Girls Initiative: A buyer once said that “girls like pink shoes until they like purple.” Rather than take his word, I initiated a girls’ research project in order to understand exactly what girls wanted. I created survey questions and design kits with cameras for girls who were 8–12 years old to encourage them to photograph their rooms and personal spaces. I also interviewed the parents. With the research findings, I created personas that would later help inform and inspire the design and color direction.

Novelty: I delved into explorations on how to create a fun shoe without licensing.




2006-2008 My Little Pony

At Hasbro, I worked with known artists to create specialized convention ponies as well as role play toys that had exhibited unique personalities and play patterns.

25th Anniversary Silver Pony:
For this unique project, I worked with a sculptor and silversmith to create one 18” sterling silver pony and twenty-five 5” silver ponies to celebrate 25 years of My Little Pony.

Convention Collector Ponies: Collector’s ponies for conventions and special events.

Made from the Heart: Focusing on the younger age of true plush devotion, this line took the essence of pony and gave it a more loveable and emotional feel by connecting it to a homemade look.

Ponyville Plush: With a focus on collectability, I explored recreating a plush version of the stylistic Ponyville line, with each pony representing its unique personality through style and material choices.

Role Play: I worked independently and with freelancers to build the product line aesthetic. Then I worked with engineering to formulate UI play patterns, and I even directed the voice talent.


25th Ponies For 25 Years: To help celebrate the 25th anniversary of My Little Pony, I Initiated and conceptualized a program. A total of 25 artists, fashion designers, and celebrities were asked to design a one-of-a-kind 18” pony. Ponies were auctioned off and proceeds were given to “Give Kids The World” charity.

Ingrid Dragotta 2023